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The Monster Cereals Monster Mansion!

Over the years, I've noticed that companies aren't including extras like toys, stickers, and other novelties in boxes of cereal nearly as much as they used to. Sure, your mom may not have bought your favorite brand of cereal when you were a kid, but at least it came with an awesome toy surprise! Nowadays, you're lucky to get anything more than a crossword puzzle on the back of the box or a link to a promotional web site that tries to get you to buy some more crap. What happened to the good stuff? What happened to collecting UPC codes for special mail-away offers?

To illustrate just how much times have changed, I wanted to share with you what is the greatest cereal mail-away offer of all time. I'm speaking of the Monster Cereals Monster Mansion!

Monster Cereal Monster Mansion mail-away promotion

That's right, back in 1981, if you ate a few boxes of cereal and forked over a measly $13, you could get your very own mansion. I mean holy shit; does that not put things in perspective when compared with the cereal box extras of today? Sure, kids these days can have just about any video game they want and a world of information all in the palm of their hands, but you know what they can't have? A corrugated cardboard mansion covered in monsters as a reward for eating sugary cereal come Halloween each year. Future technology be damned; kids of the eighties clearly made out better.

The mansion itself was four feet tall and featured all the monster cereal mascots of the time - Boo Berry, Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and yes, even Fruit Brute just before he was replaced by Fruity Yummy Mummy. Also included were a a few "batty bats", "silly spiders", a "springy snake", and the requisite "Monster Membership Cards" that any proper clubhouse needs. It even had a few balconies that could easily hold your favorite Monster Cereal toys or just about any other action figures.

While I missed out on the offer when I was a kid, I've long since dreamed of owning this Monster Mansion. As you can imagine, not a lot of these cardboard monstrosities survived over the decades, so they've become quite the collector's item that often fetch prices of $500 or more. Well, late last year I was lucky enough to stumble on a seller on eBay who apparently scanned the original pieces of the cardboard mansion and decided to make miniature hand-painted reproductions of it. This person only made a handful of them, but he truly went through the painstaking process of including every little detail to make these replica monster mansions nearly perfect. As one of the few people who was fortunate to score one of these repros, I thought you'd all enjoy a rare look at the beautiful Monster Mansion:

The Monster Cereal Mansion
[click to enlarge]

Here we have the front of the Monster Mansion in all its splendor. The front doors swing open and you can place small toys up in the balcony. What's nice is additional cut-out figures were included that you could tack onto various slits around the mansion.

The Monster Cereal Mansion
[click to enlarge]

Here's a look at the rooftop from the side where we see Boo Berry peering out of an opening way up in the attic. I'm guessing that's where he keeps his cereal stash, or whatever it is that's been giving him those heavy eyelids all these years.

The Monster Cereal Mansion
[click to enlarge]

Another feature of the mansion was the "Monster Face Wheel". See how Boo Berry is in the window on the left there? You can spin a wheel inside the castle to select which monster face you want to have peeking out of the window. There were two of these wheels included for each side of the mansion. It's also become evident that our favorite cereal monsters are capable of cloning themselves. Each side of the castle has the main three monsters looking out of a window along with an additional cut-out figure; this side has a Chocula one, the other side has Franken Berry.

The Monster Cereal Mansion
[click to enlarge]

I was glad to see there was a Fruit Brute cut-out, and it makes it look like he's either jumping off of the roof or jumping up to the balcony. I also like the other Fruit Brute pictured above the balcony who appears to have chewed his way out of the castle. No wonder they canceled his cereal back in the day... he was literally eating the other monsters out of house and home.

The Monster Cereal Mansion
[click to enlarge]

And lastly, here's a shot of the other Monster Face Wheel, this time with Fruit Brute admiring the dead tree creeping its way up the outer mansion walls. The artwork may be simple, but man do I love it.

Alrighty, that about does it. I hope you've enjoyed this detailed look at what I consider to be the greatest cereal mail-away promo ever offered to kids. Please drop a comment below and let me know what you think about it. Also, what are some of your other favorite monster cereal toys & mail-away offers from over the years? And to General Mills, if you're reading this, please bring back this Monster Mansion offer (or at least some mail-away offers like it). You've given us the retro monster cereal boxes, now it's time to complete the circle by giving us the retro cereal offers. Make it happen, Big G!

17 comments

Guest

ColdFusion (Guest) on 10/15/2014 7:16 pm

You know.. this is why I keep going to this site. This kind of thing.
A small recreation of a classic cereal box prize that every kid would want, but that I was never aware of (actually my mom didn't approve of count choculate or boo berry. "it's an evil cereal" she said. frankenberry was okay, but i didn't like the taste. i guess playing god is better than being a vampire or a ghost)



Guest

Gary T (Guest) on 10/15/2014 8:40 pm

Awesome



User avatar

UrinalPooper on 10/15/2014 8:49 pm

Wow. WIth inflation calculated in, that would have been about $30-$35 in today's money... which still isn't a bad price. I wonder if there's any information out there about who the designers were.



Guest

The Sewer Den (Guest) on 10/15/2014 10:08 pm

I'd trade in any home to live in this place. Even a bum would be king in this cardboard palace.



Guest

Cybernetic (Guest) on 10/15/2014 10:13 pm

Never heard of this and have no chance of buying it, but dammit, I WANT IT



Guest

Lapti Nek (Guest) on 10/15/2014 10:45 pm

Actually, the monster cereals were available year-round until not too long ago. I always had Count Chocula cereal around the house. Frankly, I think it's dumb that they switched to making it a seasonal cereal.



Guest

J (Guest) on 10/16/2014 1:02 am

Rog your castle is missing the spider that is at the front of the castle



Guest

vipelord (Guest) on 10/16/2014 2:57 am

Picture of actual castle today:



Guest

A-bomb (Guest) on 10/16/2014 7:02 am

The original mansion is cool, but that mini recreation is seriously impressive. The attention to detail is incredible!



User avatar

HowardC on 10/16/2014 9:31 am

All I can think about when I see this thing is why in the world didn't they make a cardboard castle GreySkull back in the day?



User avatar

-RoG- on 10/16/2014 12:25 pm

Coldfusion - I was in a similar boat. My mom didn't think the cereal was evil, but she thought it was unhealthy for you (which it was), but my neighbor's parents bought it for him, so I would go to his house when I was a kid to eat Boo Berry!

The Sewer Den - Now I *really* want to see a homeless person living in a Monster Mansion. Actually, if they were living in it, we probably couldn't even call them "homeless" anymore. I would probably just call them "lucky".

Lapti Nek - I believe you can order it online all year long, but yeah, people shouldn't have to resort to doing that.

J - Actually, I do have the spider and a little springy snake. I just didn't have any line to hang it from the castle with. The only thing that wasn't included was the membership cards that are mentioned in the original ad. To this day, I've still never seen those.

Vipelord - Beautiful, isn't it?

HowardC - Agreed! What kid wouldn't want to live inside their very own Castle Greyskull cardboard fort?



User avatar

Boo Berry Bebop on 10/16/2014 2:06 pm

My older brother actually had the original, but it was destroyed by us a long time ago!



User avatar

-RoG- on 10/17/2014 1:20 pm

Boo Berry Bebop - Yep, sadly I think many of the Monster Mansions suffered a similar fate over the years, and that's why they don't pop up very often these days.



Guest

Lj (Guest) on 10/17/2014 6:30 pm

Hey -RoG-

Long time fan. First time suggestor.

Why don't you do a Reddit AMA or join a Halloween based subreddit?

I've mentioned you on the site a few times but I've never heard a link back (no offense obviously).

I think your Comic Con and Halloween fixtures or flash games would go down a storm. Link them to the subreddits and go from there.

I always reccommend your site but I think Redditors would love it.

Happy Halloween!

L.



User avatar

zrectnat on 10/26/2014 3:22 am

I miss cereal box prizes last time I got a prize was when I was 12 it was a little batman disc launcher for the movie batman begins in 2006



User avatar

Jaimas on 10/30/2014 10:12 am

RoG totally wants an up-scaled version of this to serve as his HQ in the inevitable Pillow and Sheet Fort Wars sequel.



User avatar

-RoG- on 10/30/2014 2:13 pm

Jaimas - You read my mind! ;)

Lj - I honestly never use Reddit. I know I probably should, but it's just one of those sites I'm never on. It takes up a lot of time just keeping up with the social networking sites I do use, so I guess that's why I haven't bothered. I appreciate the suggestion though, and maybe I'll start using it in the future if I can find the time!



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